Louisiana News Briefs

By David Jacobs | The Center Square

Proposed federal spending bill could be worth almost $5.2 billion for Louisiana

The $1.9 trillion spending bill Congress is debating would be worth about $5.192 billion for Louisiana, according to U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform estimates.

Of that total, almost $2 billion would go to local governments, according to the estimate.

Supporters say the Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Resolution Act is an appropriately robust response to the pandemic and would prevent further damage to the economy. Critics say it calls for spending too much money and is not targeted to fighting COVID-19 or stimulating the economy.

Edwards: About 24,000 residents still without running water; 600,000 under boil advisory

After the recent extreme winter weather, 12 water systems serving about 24,000 people remain out, Gov. John Bel Edwards said Thursday.

About 600,000 residents served by 218 systems are being asked to boil their tap water before usage, while 170 systems have had their weather-related boil advisories lifted, Edwards said. Electricity has been restored to all but about 100 accounts, he said.

State officials reported another storm-related death Wednesday, a 61-year old Caddo Parish man who died from exposure-related hypothermia, bringing the confirmed death toll to six.

Cassidy announces $10.7 million in federal dollars for home elevation

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is awarding almost $10.7 million to elevate homes and prevent flood damage in New Orleans and Erath, U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy announced Thursday.

About $8.4 million will go toward elevating 31 historic properties in New Orleans, while more than $2.2 million will pay for raising 13 residential structures in Erath, Cassidy’s office said.

“Louisiana families should not worry about their homes flooding every time there is a heavy rainfall,” Cassidy said. “This funding helps communities continue to thrive in south Louisiana.”

Louisiana getting $4.1 million for broadband, manufacturing

The U.S. Department of Commerce has announced two grants totaling $4.1 million for Lafayette and Farmerville, members of Louisiana’s congressional delegation announced Thursday.

Lafayette Consolidated Government will receive $3.1 million to construct new fiber optic lines along a 47-mile route, serving the municipal government complex and business park in Scott, the new Iberia Parish Emergency Operations Center, the Acadiana Regional Airport, a behavioral health clinic in New Iberia and four industrial parks. The project calls for $778,900 in local matching funds and is expected to spur $26 million in private investment, officials said.

Union Growth and Development Foundation will receive $1 million to design and renovate seven buildings for use as the Delta Incubator, an advanced manufacturing business incubator to be located in Farmerville. The project, to be matched with $260,000 in local funds, is expected to create 95 jobs and generate $18.3 million in private investment, officials said.